What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

It’s been almost 9 years now since the day I got the call that my parents wanted to talk to me about my mom‘s MRI results. I distinctly remember that day, my husband and I were sitting in red Robin and my dad called and said to meet him and mom at Starbucks. (I remember thinking I had to know before I show up to this meeting so I made my sister tell me what was wrong with my mom. And she said yes it’s bad she has a brain tumor and they don’t know if she will be OK.)

My life would never be the same. You see my mom had Felt like my enemy when I was a teenager. But she had become my best friend. She was my best support system in mothering. And I had just had my fourth child Via an emergency C-section, but that’s a story for another day.

Losing my mom has literally been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. But it’s also been the best thing that ever happened to me. You may think that sounds so strange, but the truth is, I never knew what was missing until that day. That day began my journey to healing.

As a kid (and sometimes still) people talked about me as being a “difficult child”. But thankfully I’ve had great mentors in The last few years who have helped me to realize that I may have been perceived that way but possibly a different way to label my personality is I am a catalyst. (I’ve always said I didn’t fit in a box, and I guess the point of this post is That healing for me has meant I realized I could finally stop trying to fit in a box) I now realize God made me exactly how he wanted me and it’s OK to accept that and be grateful.

One of my good friends put it this way, I do tend to stir up “things” wherever I go. ?And some people aren’t comfortable with change. She said, Jen you are a catalyst. The world needs catalysts..

So point is. We can see our situations as hardship or blessing. But perception is everything.

I’m not gonna lie sometimes I felt I was too sad to move on. Sometimes I felt it was too hard. I’d never survive this. But, the fact that there was a huge void in my life when Mom got sick and went to heaven drove me to become a whole person and to accept who God made me rather than call my mom anytime things felt “not quite right”.

If reading this was helpful for you and you would like to know how my work with others could benefit you, message me OK?

P.s. Don’t forget, in order to have different results we have to make different Choices. ❤️

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Choosing to feel better now?

Do you struggle with emotional eating?

If so, I understand. I hear you. I promise. So I want to share something that someone said to me recently that helped me so much! This is it. Sounds so simple, but its so true. Eating (or drinking) something as a way of coping with difficult emotion is choosing to feel better now! And it works, that’s why so many of us find this to be challenging.

That lead to this thought. Choosing to not have something that tastes good now but makes me feel crummy later must be choosing to feel better later. The truth is difficult emotions come up sometimes, that’s just life. But maybe there’s some other things that could help me feel better now!?

So, here’s the real question….do I want to feel better now or do I want to feel better later!?

Metamorphosis

Compassion with self is so important in the different changes we may go through in personal transformation.   When I first gave up dieting (before I met the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, I had been on a diet for over 20 years) I felt more secure about my change in mindset.  Sure, when I initially reached that “magical” number through a weight loss program I was on a temporary high.  But I soon found that number didn’t actually provide the lasting feeling of happiness and contentment I was searching for.  Because true happiness comes from within.    

However; as I continue this work to love myself as I am and find true happiness and contentment in what currently is, I find myself getting impatient.   Why is it so hard to stay true to myself and my new values?  If I’m totally honest, lately I often find myself in a bit of a conflict.  Maybe I should count calories so I will stay committed to not eating my feelings (or having more than one glass of wine) after a long, trying day with the kiddos!?  What if I don’t end up losing the excess fat that my doctor says will come off after I get my dental work done and detox from mercury toxicity.

But then I remember the truth -I now know these worries that crop up are merely a reminder that something else is out of balance and needs addressing.  It’s just a sign that I still have things to learn and no amount of controlling my weight will bring me the answers I truly seek.  I’d rather find the way to maintain my current weight and also enjoy my life, than keep yo-yo dieting and obsessing over a number on the scale.

I am grateful that I have amazing mentors in my life to remind me of this amazing new way of seeing weight and eating challenges.  Dynamic Eating Psychology changed my entire life.  What I was doing wasn’t working.   I don’t really want to hate myself into a physical change. What I am doing now, learning to trust my body and find what does work long term is what I am committed to.  And deep down I know I can trust this new way of relating to food and body.

The stages of metamorphosis can be messy, but the butterfly that emerges only shows beauty.  And sometimes it’s just a matter of being patient until your wings are ready.

The Power of Now!

I was once asked, what would your 90 year old self think of your current body? Of course I immediately had my answer… an aging version of me would be so grateful for all my body can do now and also the health and energy I do have right now.

The point being, there is a power in living in the now. I find it can be so easy to think I will be happier when I’m thinner and in better shape. But, what if we just slowed down and lived our best life right now? What will I really be able to do better or enjoy more when I am thinner?

If I’m totally honest, I WAS on an emotional “high” when I got to my goal weight…but the feeling was quite temporary! True happiness comes from inside us!

Why I quit dieting?

I want to share my story (in hopes it may help another soul suffering as I was) This story is about the most significant thing I’ve experienced in my life.  A choice I made that redefined my life….the day I chose to quit dieting forever!

When it began, I guess I was around 12 years old….to be fair….I was going thru adolescence. As I evaluate the situation now, I'd say there were two things going on. One is that my body was changing as a preteen, and if I had just been less judgmental, I likely would have thinned out as I grew taller after that. But peer pressure is powerful. And I had some very thin friends. The other challenge was hormones. I was feeling real stressed and learned a unhealthy coping mechanism, that food makes you feel better (at least temporarily.) So sometimes late at night, Doritos did the job of making me feel better. Hormones do even out naturally for most teens, but bad habits are really hard to break. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

I am pretty sure I began with atkins, and then I did the cabbage soup diet. At some point, I began to run and bike a lot. I tried gagging myself and starving myself. Then I found a phamplet while in walmart.  It taught me a pound is equal to about 3500 calories. If you want to lose a pound you have to eat or burn that many calories less than your body needs to maintain your current weight.   For an average gal that is about 2000 calories. So it instructed me to keep a journal. Daily I would write an inspiring quote at the top of the page. Then I tracked my weight daily, my exercise, my water and then my calories.  I remember vividly the summer I found this and was most dutiful. I was drinking safeways seltzer raspberry water (zero calorie) eating plain cheese bagels for lunch and working at the local boys and girls club. I have good memories of times with my cousin there, but truly deep down inside I was miserable. I thought it because I was not thin enough.

Fast forward 20 years.....

I was always on a diet (most days had fallen off the diet and every time that happened, I told myself I would start again the next day) I considered myself a will-power weakling.  I imagined that if I could just get to that magical number on the scale it would make me happy and literally everything would be ok.

It didn’t matter what it cost of my time, energy, happiness, money and my health.  I was so stressed. I had adrenal fatigue and my body just wouldn’t work quite right. I gave this number top priority in my head and believed it was literally going to change everything for me. To me, if I could just control this one area of my life, everything else that didn’t seem right or fair… everything else that was not in my control seemed it would be better if I could just get to goal. And so I gave it my all. And it took my all from me.

Due to the stress of being a perfectionist about not only my weight, but also everything else in my life ( as a mom to 4 kids with lots of needs, a wife, a friend to many and a working mom at that) my quality of life wasn’t great and that is putting it nicely. I finally told my husband “I let that number and all the beliefs I had about it steal decades of my life.  I HAVE to figure this out". (That was the day I found answers. I found the institute for the psychology of eating. All the information totally resonated with me. Marc David’s studies literally gave me my life back. Slowly but surely I’ve been introduced to myself and who I really am.

I’m a psychology of Eating Coach. I found I really love to support others, but I wasn’t so good at taking good care of myself.  In practicing coaching myself I become a better coach to others.

Fixing my parachute

Research shows that 98-99% of people who do a weight loss program gain it back and more within the first year. That proved true in my life. But, even knowing that fact...I found myself still trying to beat the odds, for years. I spent almost 25 years yo-yo dieting. I felt if I could just get to that "magical" number, everything would be ok after all. But the harder I tried, the harder it got to stick to a program to get there.

What changed, you may wonder!? Well....I found the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Every podcast I heard resonated with me. I finally felt someone understood my struggle. In one of his lessons Marc David (the founder of the Institute) gave this analogy for dieting and it clicked. He said something to this effect. . If we were going to go skydiving and I told you there was a 1 - 2% chance your parachute would work, would you actually jump?

At the point in my training that he said that, I had been working to put my scale away and stop obsessing about the number....but I hadn't been able to do it. But in that moment, it finally connected for me. I had been trying to get to that number and stay there via dieting for almost 25 years. Why would I keep doing something that wasn't working. I finally realized....I need to "fix my parachute" (my mindset) if I want any plan to work out the way I had hoped.

And so began the total transformation in my mindset toward dieting. I'm so grateful!

Opinion vs. fact

Lesson of the day today is – I get to decide whether my choices were right or wrong.

Ok, being honest…i don’t always remember that. (To be honest the reason that’s on my mind is cuz my hubby said something yesterday and one thing lead to another and i found myself feeling MAJORLY triggered.)

However, by using a tool (a journal prompt that walks me through the current beliefs I have had that led to this feeling.)…I am totally able to recognize how to help myself move past that horrible feeling of being stuck (you know that feeling like I have no choice cuz the thing that the other person did or said was SO hurtful.)

This journal prompt helps me turn that nasty feeling of guilt/shame into a feeling of empowerment. I do have a choice.

Here’s the thing. . . I have realized it before and I realized it again today, I tend to feel defensive easily when others don’t agree with what I say or do. So, anytime I feel misunderstood.

But, the reality is that I do have a choice. No one else has authority or ability to change the thoughts I think no matter what actions they take that “feel” against me.

Walk through these steps anytime you feel stuck to move from feeling stuck to feeling empowered.

*Journal prompt to move past triggers

  1. How do I feel right now?
  2. What current belief leads me to feel this way?
  3. What outcome am I avoiding by holding onto this belief?
  4. What would I rather belief & what other outcome would I rather have?
  5. What’s the first step I can take to choose this new belief?

The power of Now

Live your best life now!

What does “Living your best life” actually mean!?I suppose for each individual person the answer would (and should) vary. But for me, thinking upon that lead me to 3 points that I’d like to share.

First of all – by letting go of that “perfect” weight on the scale and focusing more on living my best life now lead me to finding my passion. I’ve always known I’m a social person. But I really have grown to appreciate my passion for helping people. In particular, I really love to share the work That has helped me so much, which is the psychology of eating. ❤️ This passion lights me up and is so fulfilling for me. (which in turn has had a healing effect with my eating challenge)

Secondly, living my best life has lead me to understand the importance of positivity. If I am grateful for what is now (living my best life now) it only gets better from there. The mirror effect, ya know? ❤️

Number 3 – living my best life now, has lead to being productive. Rather than waiting til I have my ideal body, live my best life now. It’s helped me to look at the person God actually made ME to be and choose to be the best version of that person NOW. ❤️ (The power of Now)

What does living your best life mean for you? Please, share feedback in comments. You know I love to chat ? and don’t forget – For different results, you’ve got to make different choices.

Grateful heart

Gratefulness beats stress

Did you know….It is actually not possible to be grateful and stressed at the same time! And when we practice being less stressed we optimize our metabolic power. (stress literally slows down our digestion).So if you have been in a relationship for awhile (going on 18 years over here). . . you know that it’s not always easy to communicate well, which can be stressful. .But, what I want to share with you today is something that has helped me a ton (in marriage and life in general) is to focus on what I AM grateful for and practice expressing my gratitude. .”Feed that which you want to have grow”..~Today I told my hubby thanks for the great conversation we had yesterday. It was great to just take the time to connect on everything. (It was great to be reminded that regardless of the juggling it takes to raise kids, we do have the same values.).Comment below to share, what are you grateful for?

Progress rather than perfection

Have you reached the point with health & diet that just feels overwhelming? If so, I hear you…I’ve been there myself.
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That’s why i feel it’s important to remind you that perfection right now may not be the goal.
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In the past when I was stuck in diet culture, My weight was never “good enough” until I got to that certain number (destination addiction, ya know?) that is how I felt anyhow.
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Now I realize that it is important to create awareness of the current moment and what works best in this moment while working toward my ideals in life in general.
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What i mean by this is that I’m learning to focus on the current moment rather than worrying about my entire life and how it will all play out.
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What has helped me a lot is to realize that when I know what feeling I want to have more of in the future, it actually helps my brain to find ways to create that.
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My point being…you don’t have to have all the answers today. Rather by leaning into the current moment and recognizing you can figure out this current days challenges, you create trust for yourself that you can figure out challenges that may come up in the future as well.
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You too can create resilience so food becomes a way to nourish your body rather than a coping mechanism.
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If you are ready to learn more about psychology of eating and have personal support on your journey to FOOD FREEDOM, just send me a message. ❤
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How do you relate?

Hey fellow eater,
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If you’ve struggled with emotional eating, I’m curious about something…
Have you ever noticed that it is easier to stick to your diet plan when you feel happy? Cuz I certainly have.
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And I definitely feel a lot happier when I’m getting along well with my hubby.
I’m sure you can relate if you’ve been married for awhile too…
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One thing that I’ve realized helps us get along better is to be sure to tell him thank you. Being honest, after 17 years of marriage I’ve realized it is easy for me to take simple things for granted…but focusing on the positive helps so much.
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It’s a fact, what you focus on…you end up with more of. (So maybe if i thank him for doing dishes, he’ll always want to do them.) ?
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So even though I’m human and can always find something to complain about, I am working to focus on what I DO appreciate.
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Drop a comment below to share what you are grateful for.
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And if you’re ready to overcome emotional eating for good, send me a message. I’m here for you! You too can find FOOD FREEDOM!

Do you actually need motivation?


Hey fellow eater ❤
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Let’s talk about motivation for a minute. If you’ve been dieting for years and still aren’t at your goal weight…maybe you think if you could just stay motivated, you would stick to your diet plan and lose the weight.
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I get it, I’ve been where you are at. That’s why I’m excited to introduce a different idea…cuz it’s helped me SO much.
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What I’ve found I actually needed was resilience. 

⭐️ Resilience was the moment I could forgive myself for how I reacted to the past and choose to respond instead of react in the future.
⭐️ Resilience is the moments I find myself triggered but choose (again!) to respond to future events rather than stay stuck.
⭐️ Resilience is the choose to practice living in the present moment rather than letting the past dictate my view of the current & future situations of my life.

If you too can talk yourself up anytime you fall off but find yourself stuck in the same pattern of yo-yo dieting; if you wish you could just find the motivation to lose the weight for good….I understand ? 
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And I am here for YOU! If you feel overwhelmed, check this out ➡️ I help women who want to control their food & weight find happiness now. 
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Just send me a message cuz – “You were meant for more than JUST dieting!” 

❤, Jen

Those most dear…

Are you a stress eater too?
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Oh girl, I get it. And let’s be honest…sometimes those closest to us can stress us out most. (I love you, dear husband…but yeah, I get it) ?? 
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However, what I have realized since breaking free from diet culture is this – I used to have such a fixed mindset and when I think In that way it’s easy to assume things (what he meant or how he feels even) but by getting curious and asking more questions…we are learning to communicate better. ?
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As I learn to ask more and better questions; I feel less stressed, he feels more understood and I feel more validated in what I share as well. ?
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Of course, in every relationship there is always more to learn…but I love him more than when I met him 18 years ago (and that’s a LOT!) Martin Seiter ?
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And my relationship with food is much more balanced too! ? 
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If/when you are ready to dive in and create results that last long term, I’m here for you. ❤️
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“Until then remember, you were meant for more than JUST dieting!”

Stress-Less Eating Coaching

Did you know that Stress affects your metabolism ? Yep. It’s true. Stress causes digestion to shut down. 

I learned a lot of valuable information from the institute for the psychology of eating but that may have been the most powerful piece for me. 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the longer I work on living in a relaxed state, the more I realize I lived most my life in a stress response of some sort reacting to whatever came my way rather than responding. 

The area I have noticed affected the most by these “knee jerk” reactions is relationship. Primarily my sweet hubby probably experienced this the most since we tend to let down our guard the most with those we trust the most. Right?

As I continue to review the days events and how successful I’ve been in responding to situations rather than just reacting habitually, I realize that the most helpful thing for me in living intentionally is awareness which happens when I slow down. When I slow down (especially in my head☺️) I can be more intentional with my thoughts, actions and words which definitely affects all my relationships. 

For example, Have you ever noticed that when you look for things to appreciate about another person you can always find something (even if you currently don’t appreciate something they have done) but if you look for something you wish the other person would change you can always find something to complain about? Me too. 

Taking time to create intention is a super important part at the beginning of my day. And then my goal is to remain present in the moment I’m in so I’m aware of my thoughts which create my view of my life. 

I still have much to learn but I’m grateful for these nuggets I’ve found on my journey thus far. I hope you find them helpful too. 

If you’re ready to heal your relationship with food, just send me a message.

If I could turn back time…

If only I knew then what I know now…
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Do you ever think that to yourself?
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If I could go back and do something different, I’d ask for help sooner. 
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I guess growing up in a family of 16 I subconsciously thought 4 would be a breeze. But guess what, mothering hasn’t actually been so easy for me. And I’m not sure why I didn’t accept help sooner.  
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I choose to not live life with regrets (if we know different we do differently) but I do want to share the following with you in an effort to save you the same trouble. 
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(Spending years trying to be everything to everyone all the time, it didn’t work. Around the time this picture was taken I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue which has taken years to improve. I spent years exhausted falling asleep sitting up and all manner of health issues).  
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You don’t have to be perfect. Self care is not selfish. And only when you take good care of yourself can you be the best wife, mama, friend, coach and sibling.  
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How do you make sure to take good care of you? I challenge you to commit to one thing, share in the comments below….What is one way you will care for you this week?

Self care isn’t selfish


You know those moments where you feel totally overwhelmed or triggered, but then someone says the right thing or you have an experience that brings you back to solid ground again. You feel grounded again…

Today I want to talk about the level of importance you place on feeling grounded. Is that important enough for you to prioritize that feeling in your own life (or maybe that is that a challenge for you too!?) ❤️

Truthfully I have struggled with this challenge a lot in my life, especially as a wife and mama. As a real sensitive person it is easy for me to take on other peoples stress and make their problems my own (to the point of my own needs being compromised). 

I guess if I say that my needs are priority, I have felt like this is selfish. 

However, since I have recognized that I am not the only one who has found a challenge with this (which also has led to a challenged relationship with food (and self care in general) today I decided I want to share the following with you because it has been very helpful for me in getting back to a grounded place when my plate feels mighty full but my people could use my attention too…

A mentor and good friend once told me when it comes to my kids and my husband… “they just want you to be happy Jen. Right?” 

Of course I know this is true, so if I can find a way to communicate well what my needs really are (which is a challenge in itself, of course ? But it’s true)… my people are happy to work together with me so that I am happy too. 

I am not saying it’s easy, I am not saying I have it all figured out, but I have found that this advice helps bring me back to a grounded place in my own head so that I can make a more reasonable choice about my next best move in my day. 

In summary, Given all you’ve got going on…what is the very best way to handle it? ❤️

I hope this was helpful. I just want you to know i’m here for you. And I care. 

You matter to your people, even if they don’t say it out loud (or often enough). 

Remember, I’m here for you. All you have to do is this, just send me a message to let me know you could use some support!